Radio France’s Ocora record label, which specializes in traditional music from around the world, boasts the earliest record (CD) collection of its kind to be established. With a collection that includes many rare and valuable recordings, the label has come to be regarded as an indispensable resource for traditional folk music lovers and researchers. This project comprises a recording and concert for Ocora in France by The Hougaku Quartet, made up of one of Japan’s leading up-and-coming shakuhachi players Reison Kuroda and three hougaku performers. The concert will take place at Espace Cardin, Theatre de la Ville, which has a reputation for staging diverse new music that transcends the borders of genre. Implemented with the cooperation of Radio France and Theatre de la Ville, two organizations that are especially influential in the field of music in France, a country well-versed in traditional Japanese culture, this project is set to arouse heightened interest among French music lovers and fans of Japanese culture for Japanese traditional music. It is anticipated that this project will contribute greatly not only to the enrichment of world folk music resources in France but also to Franco-Japanese cultural exchange going forward.
The three performers for the concert comprise a trio from The Hougaku Quartet, which focuses on new commissions and world premieres centering on works by contemporary composers in Japan, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, the exploration and revival of classical “sankyoku” chamber music and quartet pieces from existing contemporary hogaku music.
KOTO&SHAMISEN:Noriko Hirata, Yuiko Terai
1.”Sakura-gawa”（The river with cherry petals)：Mitsuzaki Kengyo
2.”Oushu-sashi” (Based on a folk melody from the northern Japan)：Masanosuke Jimbo
3.”Cha-ondo” (Tea ceremony song)：Kikuoka Kengyo
4.”Onoe no Matsu”（The sacred pine to celebrate the joy of peace）
unknown/Koto part composed by Michio Miyagi, Shakuhachi part composed by Reibo Aoki I
Was apprenticed to Reibo Aoki (Shakuhachi player nationally designated as a Living National Treasure) and Shoji Aoki. Won the championship at the World Shakuhachi Competition 2018 in London. Garnered the highest award at the Hidenori Tone Traditional Japanese Music Competition. Performed Toru Takemitsu’s “November Steps” and a new concerto for shakuhachi at the Ars Musica contemporary music festival in Belgium. Through his annual solo performances all around the world, numerous new commissioned works, and collaborations with orchestras, Kuroda pursues the infinite possibilities of the shakuhachi now and in the future. He has also provided soundtracks for CDs, TV, kabuki performances and more. He is a member of Ensemble Muromachi (recipient of the 13th Keizo Saji Prize), The Hougaku Quartet (whose first CD was awarded a special mention in Record Geijutsu magazine), a unit of shakuhachi, electronic sound and audiovisual video 1÷0 and The Shakuhachi 5. He was appointed Japan Cultural Envoy by The Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2019.
Shakuhachi player/Japan Cultural Envoy
Theatre de la Ville/ Espace Cardin, L’Auditorium de Radio France